Wednesday 7 April 2021

Tall Bones by Anna Bailey | Book Review

[AD/Gifted - I received a copy of this book in order to take part in the readalong with Tandem Collective. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

Tall Bones by Anna Bailey - 5/5
"When seventeen-year-old Emma leaves her best friend Abi at a party in the woods, she believes, like most girls her age, that their lives are just beginning. Many things will happen that night, but Emma will never see her friend again.

Abi's disappearance cracks open the fa├žade of the small town of Whistling Ridge, its intimate history of long-held grudges and resentment. Even within Abi's family, there are questions to be asked - of Noah, the older brother whom Abi betrayed, of Jude, the shining younger sibling who hides his battle scars, of Dolly, her mother and Samuel, her father - both in thrall to the fire and brimstone preacher who holds the entire town in his grasp. Then there is Rat, the outsider, whose presence in the town both unsettles and excites those around him.

Anything could happen in Whistling Ridge, this tinder box of small-town rage, and all it will take is just one spark - the truth of what really happened that night out at the Tall Bones..."

Whistling Ridge, the town where no one would want to live.

This book is a masterpiece.

Emma leaves friend Abigail in the woods, near the Tall Bones, following a party. She goes missing and no one seems to know what happened to her.

Secrets start to come out in this small town. No one can be trusted. We read about Abigail's family life with father Samuel, mother Dolly and brothers Noah and Jude. It seems like a horrible life to be living. 

Whistling Ridge is wholly a Baptist community and it seems as though everyone justifies their actions by saying that God made them that way. They have no time for outsiders or people who aren't White Americans.

It isn't told in a linear format, flitting between Then and Now but everything lines up perfectly. With so many people hiding so many things, it is fascinating trying to work out what has really happened to Abi. Bailey writes brilliantly and every line captivates you. It is full of depth and totally enthralling.

The book touches on life in this Baptist community, sexual assault, domestic violence and homophobia.

This is probably one of the best debuts I've ever read.

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